What Is This World Coming To?

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Farmville and YoVille are coming to a 7-11 near you.   For those of you who play Facebook Application Games such as Farmville, My Farm, FarmTown, YoVille and etc ( and you KNOW who you are), 7-11 has just made your addiction harder to break.    Introducing “Specially Marked Packages”!!   You know these things…in days of old, you sent in the requisite number of boxtops to a cereal company and you received the Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring.  Then you waited for the episode (sponsored by Ovaltine or some other brand) where the Super Secret Coded Message was broadcast and only those with the Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring could decipher the message.  Usually the “Super Secret Message”  was something lame like “Drink More Ovaltine”.  Kids were disappointed at being duped into just another advertising message

Advertisers have gotten smarter these days.  And they’re wiser to their demographic which now includes computer savvy adults.  They take your Super Secret Addiction, and let’s face it…only the most pathetic or most secure people in the world boldly admit they play Farmville, and sock it to you at the convenience store.   It’s one thing to be able to resist the allure of paying five times as much for a product you could get for much cheaper (don’t forget double coupons) at WalMart.  It’s another if a Specially Marked Package contains a Super Secret Code that , once plugged into the game, gives your game some Super Duper prize.   In this case, the prize is something that your “avatar” can use on your farm or your  YoVille house.  The upside:  your farm or Yo-house now has some super cool item that not everyone else has.  The downside:  you just paid five times as much for a Slurpee/Slushie/Squishy  to get the code to receive (possibly) something really lame like a garden gnome for your farm or an ice sculpture for your YoVille apartment.

7-11 has partnered with Zynga Games  to bring specially marked Slurpees and ice cream to their stores.  This six week campaign, kicking off June 1, will allow Zynga game players the chance to earn “virtual cash” by purchasing the marked products and completing the instructions inside.   Virtual cash for these games can only be purchased with real currency and that’s where most of the really cool items for these games can be found.  In some of the Zynga games, you can earn the “FV Cash” by completing mastery in certain crops but it’s very scant and the really cool items cost more than you can earn.  On YoVille, it’s almost impossible to earn YoCash unless you participate in surveys or complete offers that are found on the Buy/Earn Cash page.  It’s the same for almost ALL virtual social networking games.  To get the really cool stuff, you have to purchase the virtual cash with money or participate in the neverending surveys or lame “Buy Six get Four More at Club Prices” type of offer.  Frankly, purchasing Slurpees  to get a chance at one of a kind items is a great, no , GENIUS marketing idea and I’m ashamed of myself that I didn’t think of it first.  While there are plenty of people out there on social networking sites who claim they’re above playing virtual games like Farmville, there is obviously a market out there addicted to playing them and that seems to be a bigger demographic than Those Who Say They Don’t.  So, if you’re one of Those Who Say They Don’t, roll your eyes now.  Farmville Slurpees are here!

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